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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2005 / 1203

1203

Friends of the Earth International
Media Advisory

Immediate: Friday 2nd December 2005

CLIMATE TALKS - SLOW START BUT REAL PROGRESS CAN STILL BE MADE

As the UN Climate Change Talks in Montreal reach the half way point, Friends of the Earth International urged developed countries, particularly the EU and the Canadian Presidency, to take a stronger lead in pushing for real progress in the days to come.

What’s happened so far

On Wednesday there was an significant step forward when the Climate Talks adopted the rule book for the Kyoto Protocol - known as the Marrakesh Accords. But Saudi Arabia rained on the Kyoto parade by demanding an amendment on the issue of compliance. Compliance is an essential part of the rule book. A group has been set up to look at the problem and everybody seems very confident that this one is going to be sorted out.

Discussions on the crucial issue of what developed countries will do in the post 2012 period have also got underway. A lot of ideas have been put on the table, including suggestions from developing countries as to what their role will be. But a key question hangs over this part of the negotiations as to which future action will be regulated by the Kyoto Protocol - and which will fall under the legal framework of the UN Framework Convention. The EU says it wants an open and inclusive dialogue - but has not yet offered sufficient incentives to developing countries on adaptation or reform of the “clean development mechanism”(CDM) - where developed countries invest in emissions reduction projects in the developing world.

Sticking points

The United States delegation, which is not party to the Kyoto Protocol, but which is still a participant in the UN Framework Convention discussions, made it very clear from day one of the talks that it was not interested in joining in. They want to see no progress in Montreal, under either Protocol or Convention, except for “a plan of action” for assisting developing countries adapt to climate change - ensuring no new money and no real action.

Some other countries also seem to have forgotten why they are in Montreal. The United States, Japan and Russia seem to think they need as much help in adapting to impacts of climate change as the world’s poorest countries, requesting access to the financial adaptation fund, which was set up to assist the least developed countries which are suffering the consequences but which are not responsible for the problem.

Outside the conference centre

As delegates inside the conference centre celebrated the adoption of the Marrakesh Accords, Friends of the Earth International launched its Climate Mosaic - a 50 metre display of handpainted tiles demanding action on climate change. Painted by people from around the world, the Mosaic will send daily messages to delegates inside the talks - reminding them that climate change is an issue for the people they represent and that their negotiations potentially affect the lives and livelihoods of millions of people around the world.

Friends of the Earth International will also be joining the climate march on 3 December in Montreal when thousands of people are expected to take to the streets. The march is expected to be the largest ever climate specific public demonstration with activities in more than 30 cities around the world.

Things to look forward to

Negotiations will step up a gear on Wednesday 7th December when Ministers arrive from around the world to agree the final package of negotiations. As things stand, there remains a lot still to be picked up and finalised.

Key will a mandate to negotiate future action with clear targets and a deadline for an agreement to be in place. This is what Ministers arriving next week must do.

Friends of the Earth International Climate Campaigner Catherine Pearce said:

“There is a real need for leadership in these talks. The first week of negotiations has seen a great deal of attention focused on opening up discussions under the Convention, and opening the door to USA. But the US Administration has made it blatantly clear that they are not interested in action and there is a real risk that they will use these talks to block proposals from other countries.

“It is time for the key players, including the EU and President Dion to show real leadership and move this agenda on. We urgently need agreement on action to bring greenhouse gas emissions down - and a clear timeline for future negotiations is key. Industrialised countries must be willing to make further cuts and they must provide incentives for developing countries to come on board.”

Background information:

www.foe.co.uk/resource/media_briefing/montrealclimatetalks.pdf

UNFCCC Climate Change Conference Official Site: http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop_11/items/3394.php

Download Photos of Friends of the Earth International’s Climate Mosaic in
Montreal: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/images/cop11_montreal

Contact:

Catherine Pearce, Friends of the Earth International Climate Campaigner + 1 347 992 2505
Helen Burley, Friends of the Earth Media Officer Canadian mobile +1 201 954 5317

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